Double bronze axe (Serra Orrios)

Among the bronze artefacts found in the Nuraghic village of Serra Orrios in the Dorgali area (figs. 1, 2) there is a double axe (fig. 3), that is a tool used for woodworking.

Fig. 1 - View from above of the Nuraghic village of Serra Orrios-Dorgali (from
Fig. 2 - Detail of the huts of the village of Serra Orrios-Dorgali (from
Fig. 3 - Double bronze axe from Serra Orrios-Dorgali (from

As part of the Nuraghic metallurgical production, double axes belong to a category of artefacts influenced by Cyprus and found in Sardinia, intact or incomplete, in various settlements and in Nuraghic closets. They are built on the principle of having a cutting edge on both sides, with a central handle. They are divided according to the type of blade in massive double axes, heeled double axes and parallel blades, and double axes with orthogonal bites (figs. 4, 5).

Fig. 4 - Various types of double axes found in different locations in Sardinia (from LO SCHIAVO 2014 p. 98).
Fig. 5 - Double axes found in Sardinian Nuraghic contexts (from DEIANA 2014 p. 293).


The double axe from Serra Orrios is the type with parallel bites. It has a flat top side, a semi-circular bottom one, with the blades parallel in relation to the protruding hole in which the haft was inserted. It was created by using a simple stone mould with a half-shell (mono valve) which reproduces the shape of the axe to be made in negative, and where the molten metal was poured into. It is a type which is unknown outside Sardinia, a local Nuraghic remake of specimens known in the Eastern Mediterranean. The find, dated between the final phase of the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age (XII-VIII centuries B.C.), is on display at the Archaeological Museum of Dorgali.



  • DEIANA A., Bronzi d’uso, in MORAVETTI A., ALBA E., FODDAI L. (a cura di), La Sardegna Nuragica. Storia e materiali, Sassari 2014, p. 293.
  • LO SCHIAVO F., La Sardegna nuragica e il mondo mediterraneo, in AA.VV., La civiltà nuragica, Milano 1990, pp. 242-244.
  • LO SCHIAVO F., La produzione metallurgica, in MORAVETTI A., ALBA E., FODDAI L. (a cura di), La Sardegna Nuragica. Storia e materiali, Sassari 2014, p. 98, p. 101.
  • MORAVETTI A., Serra Orrios e i monumenti archeologici di Dorgali, Sardegna Archeologica. Guide e itinerari, 26, Sassari 1998, pp. 35-74.